August 19, 2019: Following the Fifth Meeting of BRICS Environment Ministers, held under the theme “Contribution of Urban Environment Management to Improving the Quality of Life in Cities”, the leaders of Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) issued a joint statement, expressing their commitment to support the development of the global biodiversity framework for post-2020 and urging that the UNFCCC negotiations lead to “fair and effective” results.
Recognizing the importance of implementing the Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Cooperation among BRICS Member States, signed during the Tenth BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, in July 2018, Ministers of Environment decide “to establish and strengthen concrete mechanisms for the implementation of cooperation initiatives” and agree to focus on “action-oriented cooperation”. The ministers expect the first activities to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life in cities, thanks to the sharing of knowledge and experiences on waste management, “cogeneration”, reverse logistics, l sanitation and water quality, urban air quality and urban green spaces, among others. through the Partnership Initiative for Urban Environmental Sustainability (PUESI).
Advance dialogue on “key themes that can be integrated into our cooperation initiatives”, including management of the urban environment, contaminated areas and soil remediation, water quality, circular economy within the framework of sustainable consumption and production, marine protected areas and the fight against marine litter, and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, the ministers recognize the individual efforts of the BRICS to resolve these environmental problems and innovative solutions to improve the quality of the urban environment.
The BRICS countries recognize Brazil’s proposal to structure the “urban environmental quality agenda» according to the following themes: 1) cleaning the rivers and seas; 2) waste management, resource efficiency and recovery of contaminated areas; 3) sanitation; 4) air quality; and 5) urban green spaces.
Ministers express their commitment to reduce marine litter by identifying solutions to reduce land-based impacts that affect marine ecosystems, improving the quality of the urban environment and protecting ecosystems and biodiversity.
At biodiversitythe declaration reflects the commitment of the BRICS countries to contribute and support the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and the success of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Diversity (CBD), to be held in Kunming, China, in 2020. Ministers agree to prioritize biodiversity conservation and develop a biodiversity cooperation mechanism.
At desertificationMinisters reaffirm their commitment to combat desertification, mitigate the effects of drought and restore degraded lands and soils.
At climate change, Ministers recognize the importance of global action and call for transparent negotiations at the 25th session of the COP at the UNFCCC to achieve “fair and effective” outcomes, while reflecting the principles of fairness, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities (CBDR-RC). They urge developed countries to provide developing countries with means of implementation, including climate finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity building support.
Ministers further reaffirm the importance of jointly exploring new sources of funding for individual, bilateral and multilateral projects, and propose to consider the establishment of a special grant fund from the New Development Bank (NDB) to support BRICS environmental cooperation.
The fifth meeting of BRICS environment ministers was held in São Paulo, Brazil on August 15, 2019. [Joint Statement for Fifth BRICS Ministers of Environment Meeting] [BRICS Press Release]